Hoarder who has filled his flat with thousands of newspapers, magazines and books faces eviction because he is a 'fire hazard'
Brian Clenshaw, 52, also can't help collecting coins, DVDs and stamps
Former salesman claims syndrome was brought on by a road accident in 2004
21:55 GMT, 5 December 2012
A former salesman is facing eviction from his home after his problem with hoarding spiralled out of control.
Brian Clenshaw, 52, has filled his flat to the brim with thousands of newspapers, magazines, DVDs, books, coins and stamps.
Now his landlord has taken court action to have him thrown out of his house in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, because the clutter presents 'a fire hazard'.
Obsessive: Brian Clenshaw has collected thousands of books, DVDs, magazines and coins
Brian believes he suffers from Obsessive Hoarding Syndrome and his condition means he and cannot throw anything away.
He says his obsession to keep everything became uncontrollable after the stress of a serious road accident.
His landlord A.E.Chattell & Sons has now been granted a ruling by Tunbridge Wells County Court to order Brian to leave.
Brian said today he has 'begged for help' with his hoarding problem but has yet to find any support.
He said: 'Ever since I was a little boy I was a bit of a hoarder. And I have always been a bit insecure.
'But it was always manageable. It was silly but manageable. But I had a bad accident back in 1997 where I was run over by a ten tonne lorry and I started struggling.
'In 2004 that is when the hoarding took off I was buying all sorts of things from Amazon, book shops you name it – books, DVDs, CDs.
'I started a serious coin collection. I was spending hundreds and hundred of pounds on coins. Still collecting stamps which I have done quite seriously since 1994, but the coins were a new one.
'I had a GP came round in February 2009 to try and sort things out about how we are going to move on for me and the sofa was clear.
'So it has absolutely mushroomed over the last two or three years. I believe it is a subset of OCD called Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome.
'I have been not diagnosed with this but clearly that is something I have got.
Facing eviction: Brian Clenshaw faces being homeless this Christmas after his landlord took legal action to have him evicted
'Daunting': Mr Clenshaw says he is apprehensive about having to find a new home after being told he is being evicted by his landlord
'It is very, very daunting I accept that the newspapers and magazines have to go, but a lot of my stuff is decent stuff – reference books, coins, stamps, got my bicycle, golf clubs, CD, you name it.
'I cannot just put that in a holdall rucksack. At least I have now got a week hopefully to try and sort out the important things and more importantly find somewhere else to live.”
Friend Tim Burchill, 44, a researcher, said Brian is 'absolutely terrified' of being thrown out on to the streets.
He said: 'Everyone has just turned their backs on him – even his family. I just want to give him the support and understanding he deserves.
'Brian recognised he had a problem with hoarding and had started clearing up.
But when the agent started taking him to court he felt under pressure and the stress caused him to start again.
'If the letting agent just gave him sixth months more to stay in the flat he would get everything back on track.
'I am working with him to get an official diagnosis of Obsessive Hoarding Syndrome.'
Brian has until December 12 to find a new place to live but he says he has little movement left in his pelvis after his accident which makes it difficult to lift things.
He has hundreds of newspapers including copies of the Times and Daily Mail as well as stacks of glossy magazines like Maxim.
And he has huge piles of DVDs including the BBC Olympics DVD as well as the more
traditional collectors items coins and stamps.
Problem: Mr Clenshaw says his hoarding problem got worse after a serious accident
In need of help: Mr Clenshaw says he has had a problem with hoarding since he was a boy but it got worse after he suffered a serious road accident
A spokeswoman for A.E.Chattell & Sons said they took court action as a 'last resort' and added the council has some emergency accommodation available.
She said: 'We have embarked on the court process to regain possession from Brian's flat as an absolute last resort.
'There are tenancy issues that Brian is aware of. There are large quantities of stored newspapers and magazines in Brian's flat and these present a significant fire hazard.
'We have offered to clear the flat, but to no avail. We have tried to ensure alternative accommodation he available for Brian and we are in contact with the council housing department and a mental health charity.
'We understand from the council that emergency accommodation is available for Brian.'